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Melanie and Shane were married at the Westin Hotel in Abu Dhabi back in early November amongst family and friends and most importantly, their dogs {love this}.

With a mixed pastel colour palette their wedding has a swoon worthy elegance to it.  Not to mention the bridesmaid’s flower crowns…I think it must be clear by now that I adore a good old flower crown.

A huge thank you to Mel who gives an honest and heartfelt write up about her day which is certainly not all roses and definitely worth a read ~ although it does go to show that even when things don’t turn out exactly how you want them, it can still look ruddy awesome.

Beautifully captured by Melissa Beattie, this wedding is completely dreamy.  

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Our Day Our Way

The day was supposed to be all pastel coloured, very soft and gentle, relaxed but elegant, and with ribbon everywhere.  We wanted an excess of pastel coloured ribbons as our main decor with pastel coloured flowers. There was no doubt in our minds that we’d have my dogs there- that has been a dream of mine since I was a child, and so that was the first thing we focused on when looking for a venue. I knew I wanted a large outdoor venue for our wedding that would also accommodate our dogs, so when we went round to look at the different venues, The Westin Hotel in Abu Dhabi had our favourite outdoor space and it was also beautiful inside and so we contacted them right away and explained our vision, as well as the fact that we wanted my dogs to attend the wedding or we’d have to continue looking.  They agreed to let us have our day as we wanted it.  🙂

We loved that the hotel upgraded our room to a large suite on the day without saying anything.  It made a huge difference and certainly got the bridesmaids and I very excited. It was also a nice surprise for Shane when we got back in the evening. It made us feel special.  The Westin Hotel’s Rima Pradhan was lovely the entire way through and was a pleasure to work with.

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The Dress

I was in the UK and attended a wedding fair by my house and I got pressured at a booth to make an appointment to try on dresses at their store. I made the appointment a month away thinking I would likely cancel the appointment, as I didn’t have it in mind to look at dresses yet. I didn’t have my mum to come with me so I wasn’t keen on going. I ended up going with one of my bridesmaids and tried on all different styles in the store just to get an idea of what would suit. I found a lace mermaid tail dress that looked stunning but it wasn’t what I had always envisioned- a puffy princess type dress- a shape I’d only get away with wearing on my wedding day. So I asked them if they had the dress I had pictured- satin top, and tulle bottom…and they had one in the storage at the back!  I loved the dress but said I wanted to go back with my mum and mother-in- law. So a month later we went again, and my dad also came and I tried on both dresses and all of them preferred the ‘sexy’ mermaid dress but I still went ahead with the other.

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Well Groomed

Shane wore a black tux and a black bow tie. He was really handsome. His groomsmen all wore pastel coloured bow ties and the same black tux’s.  They also had matching pastel socks.

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Pretty Maids

I had 5 bridesmaids and Shane had 4 groomsmen and a groomsmaid. The groomsmaid dressed the same as the bridesmaids but stood on Shane’s side of the aisle and had her photos taken with the men. The bridesmaids all wore different coloured pastel dresses, slightly different styles, and with large flower wreaths on their heads. They looked stunning. We got all the dresses separately, guessing the colours, as we were all in different parts of the world when organising everything, so 2 days before the wedding we got all of us together and tried them on at the mini-rehearsal and I was so pleased. They really looked fantastic.

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We were quite excited about the details and wanted to do a lot ourselves to lower the cost, but when we realised the work and time it would need we used a wedding planner to help with the venue decor. For what we had asked and were promised, we were really disappointed on the day and felt cheated. Even as I walked up to the gazebo and saw that it was not the metal one covered in flowers and draped in ribbons that we had ordered, I was very disappointed. For an hour after our ceremony after Shane and I got to look around we were quite upset, but then we decided to forget it and enjoy the evening.  None of the guests knew how much we had paid or what we had requested and envisioned so they all thought it was beautiful. There were snippets of the things we had asked and paid for.

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Our Favourite Part

Our favourite part of the wedding was the start of the ceremony- when the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and my dogs walked out before my dad and I. The song we chose was just perfect and it made many of the guests shed a tear or two.  I can’t wait for my wedding video to be finished so I can see it as Shane and the guests did instead of from behind.  We also really liked when we were separated to go have our pictures taken with our respective bridesmaids/groomsmen.  That was fun and special!

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Wise Words

I would recommend never paying anything fully in advance because not everyone may deliver what was agreed upon.  We really regretted paying our wedding planners in advance. You should also try and use someone that a friend has recommended or who has been doing this for a long time. A lot of the pictures our wedding planners had shown us weren’t from their own weddings that they had done, but that they’d taken off other sites. We had a bad feeling a few weeks after talking to them when it came to really getting down to business but we didn’t want to upset them and decided to give them a chance. Big mistake.


Photographer: Melissa Beattie // Videographer: Studio K // Venue: The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa // The Cake: Maryam Tanveer at Cake Walk

About Jessica

I am the founder and editor of Lace in the Desert and have called Dubai my home for 4 years. Elegant design, romantic textures, intricate detailing and heart yearning photography are my loves. You won’t find a single wedding or feature on here that I do not think is truly awesome. I also love champagne and crumpets.

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